How To Effectively Use Social Media in Your Job Search

Social media can provide information and connections that are vital to your job search.

You can research companies and industries and contact alumni who work at a company to learn more.

  • Connections - Identify alumni at your target companies and review profiles of your interviewers, including their recommendations, professional associations and groups.
  • Company Information - Learn about the culture, hiring process, corporate values, recruiting and networking events.
  • Industry Information - See competitors and understand how skills transfer within the industry.
  • Job Information - See career paths for various functions and review job postings.


LinkedIn is a business-oriented social network where millions of professionals connect. This platform provides the largest opportunity to market yourself and expand your personal network. Your LinkedIn profile provides a visible, online résumé that your contacts, including potential employers, can view.

Contact Us

Frank L. Ciminelli Family
Career Resource Center

School of Management
University at Buffalo
308 Alfiero Center
Buffalo, NY 14260-4010

Tel: 716-645-3232
Fax: 716-645-3231

Office Hours
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Meet our Staff

Have a complete and robust profile

  • The more information you have on your page, the better.
    • Having a complete profile makes you 40 times more likely to receive job opportunities.
  • A potential employer or contact will look at your page once, and if there's no useful information on it, they may never look again.
  • Include major accomplishments, experiences, education, skills, honors and any other professional achievements you would include on a résumé or in an interview.
  • Use a picture of you in a business suit for your profile image.
  • Be sure everything you do on LinkedIn is professional and appropriate. Remember that potential employers will be seeing it.

Request recommendations from previous supervisors and co-workers

  • Their praise is credible and will impress viewers of your profile.
  • Ask for social media recommendations as you would a regular recommendation. Ask in person, professionally, before sending the generic form.
  • Only write recommendations for people you know well and can honestly recommend.

Grow your network

  • Start making connections as soon as your profile is complete.
  • Import your address book to add people you know.
  • Connect to friends, family, alumni, and past and present colleagues and supervisors.
  • Try to add at least one new person to your network a week.
  • When making a new connection, remind the individual of how you know each other.
  • Quality is more important than quantity.
    • You want a large network, but don’t invite strangers or people you vaguely know, and do not be offended if those people deny your requests.
  • Respond to requests promptly, within 24 hours if possible.
  • Join LinkedIn groups that align with your professional interests, including alumni groups, trade associations and organizations of which you're a member.
    • Unless you have a personal connection with group members, avoid sending them direct messages.
    • Add value to discussions.
      • Share your observations or post a link to a relevant news article.
      • Be sure to read and respond to what other people are saying.
    • You can ask members of your network to introduce you to one of their contacts.
      • This can help you establish great connections.
      • Ask politely and explain why you are interested in the new connection.

Using LinkedIn to Search for a Job

  • LinkedIn Jobs suggests open positions that align with your interests and allows you to search jobs based on different categories. You can also see how you are linked to the person who posted the job opening.
  • Follow companies and industries in which you are interested.
  • Research your recruiters or interviewers through their LinkedIn pages.

Facebook and Twitter

Facebook and Twitter can be just as effective in your job search as LinkedIn. Both platforms are traditionally used more socially than professionally, so it's important to be aware of your online presence and the image you project.

  • More and more companies are using Facebook and Twitter for recruiting and hiring.
    • Like and Follow companies you're interested in.
    • Retweet or share interesting posts by these companies.
  • If you have a professional interest or area of expertise, become a go-to person in that area.
    • Create a blog, focus your tweets on that subject or post interesting articles on your Facebook page.

More Information

When used effectively and appropriately, social media can be one of your most valuable resources for career search and development. Use as many tools and resources as you can to become a pro at social networking.

  • Stay up-to-date by reading articles on social media
  • Mashable
  • University LinkedIn provides easy guides and videos on creating an online presence, networking via LinkedIn and more
  • LinkedIn Help Center provides advice and tips for specific topics
  • The CRC Library has valuable literature you can explore, located in 308 Alfiero
    • The 2-Hour Job Search by Steve Dalton
    • How to Find a Job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Other Social Networks by Brad and Debra Schepp
    • The Official Book of Electronic Etiquette by Charles and Anne Winters